How to Develop a Restaurant Inventory Management System

o you still use spreadsheets to manage your restaurant inventory? If so, you know exactly how challenging and time-consuming it is. In 2019, there has to be a better way to track food.

In this article, we talk about how to build restaurant inventory management software from scratch and when it’s better to use an off-the-shelf solution. But first, let’s go back to spreadsheets for a minute to outline what problems you can get rid of by creating a brand-new food inventory management system. 

Reasons why inventory management software for restaurants is better than spreadsheets

In addition to being cumbersome, there are a number of other good reasons to stop using spreadsheets:

  • Vulnerable to human errors
  • Require plenty of time to plan and design
  • Don’t give you Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
  • Don’t generate reports
  • Are difficult to analyze
  • Don’t provide you with historical inventory data
  • Don’t ensure real-time updates

Unlike old-school spreadsheets, inventory software for restaurants tracks your restaurant’s inventory automatically and helps you manage your inventory effectively.

What is a restaurant inventory management system?

A restaurant inventory management app provides restaurants with an up-to-date and accurate picture of their food inventory and helps them manage stock levels and purchase orders.

These days, an inventory management system for restaurants is a must, not a luxury. This kind of software makes restaurant inventory tracking easier and helps restaurants:

  • Know their food inventory in real time
  • Automate inventory management
  • Decrease the number of employees required to manage inventory
  • Get control of food costs
  • Minimize food waste and prevent losses
  • Automate the supply chain
  • Streamline operations
  • Reduce human error in inventory management

Build or buy inventory management software?

With so many off-the-shelf PoS systems that come with inventory management functionality, you might be questioning whether it’s worth developing a custom inventory management solution. To help you decide which option is best suited to your restaurant’s needs, we’ve examined the benefits and limitations of both approaches.

Building a custom inventory management system

There isn’t a clear answer to whether custom development is the best approach for you. It depends on your needs and goals.

Good reasons to develop an inventory management system from scratch:

  • You’re free to decide on every element of your system. You can choose what functionality and content to include and what design you like. You pay only for the functionality that you need.
  • You can develop a system that’s a perfect match for your requirements. This is especially relevant for restaurants that have unique needs. By going custom, you’ll be able to develop a system that perfectly aligns with your business processes and restaurant operations.
  • Custom software has great potential for scalabilityand further improvements, allowing you to grow your system along with your business. You can first build an MVP, including the most important features. Later on, you can scale by adding more functionality.

  • Your sensitive data is protected. With development from scratch, you can use the best practices for protecting your data.
  • You won’t depend on a third-party provider and pay monthly fees. You’ll pay only for development.
  • You won’t need to buy specific hardware to use your restaurant inventory system.

Reasons why you shouldn’t go custom:

  • High costs. Custom software often costs a lot to develop and might not be the best choice for small restaurants. As there are lots of ready-made solutions available, small businesses may find it beneficial to go with a ready-made system that covers a wide range of needs.
  • Much time spent on development. Usually, custom development takes lots of time and isn’t always the best option for businesses that are short on time and need quick solutions.

Looking for an inventory management software development company?

If you’ve decided to say goodbye to spreadsheets and hire developers to build your own restaurant management software — or if you have any questions on how to create an inventory system — we’d be happy to help. Message our sales team for a free consultation.

Read more to figure out how to create an inventory system


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